As one of comedy's brightest stars, Tiffany Haddish has made a living off using her infectious personality to bring smiles to people's faces. Yet on her upcoming appearance on David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Haddish goes into detail about her childhood with an abusive mother.
"I didn't want to be with my mom no more," the comedian/actress said in the teaser released by Netflix. "She became very violent and verbally abusive... I used to be begging my mom if I could go live with my grandma...and she would be like: 'She's not your momma! I'm your momma!' You know, these things she would yell."
Despite being emotionally scarred by her mother's behavior, Haddish tells Letterman her mom wasn't always abusive. Throughout the interview, Haddish explains that her mother's personality shift is the result of a near-fatal car accident that left her with traumatic brain damage.
"When I was eight about to be nine she had a car accident and her head went through the windshield," Haddish said while fighting back tears. "By the grace of God she lived. But she had to learn how to walk, talk, eat, everything all over again. [It] changed everything about her. I used to think she was demonized. I thought maybe someone else jumped inside of her body. Like: 'Where is my mommy? She's gone.'"
This is not the first time the Last O.G. star has spoken about her relationship with her mother. In her 2017 memoir The Last Black Unicorn, Haddish recounts dealing with her violent mood swings. "After the accident, oh my God, she would say the worst things to me, like 'You look like your ugly ass daddy, I hate him. I hate you,'" Tiffany wrote. "She couldn’t get all her words out, so she'd just punch me. Just full on. Because of her, I can take a punch like nobody's business. Teachers would ask, 'Why’s Tiffany’s lip busted?' I didn’t say anything. As bad as she was to me, I still couldn't help but love her."
That love leads her to continue to care for her mother (who's currently hospitalized at a mental institution) despite the years of abuse. "My goal is to get enough money to buy a duplex. I want to put her in one of the units and hire a full-time nurse to take care of her," she explains in her book. "Then I want to get her whatever medications she needs so she can be my mama again. Honestly, that’s all I really want in life."
Haddish's full conversation with Letterman will hit Netflix on Friday, May 31.